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What We’re Reading: The Man Who Quit Money

Post by Christine Wells
Posted May 23, 2014 in NoveList Bookshelf

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The Man Who Quit Money

by Mark Sundeen

Sundeen’s book is a beautifully written biography of man who has been living without money of any kind since 2000.  Daniel Suelo was raised in a fundamentalist evangelical home and, though he no longer shares the faith of his parents, he has redirected the impulse to live well, to live ethically, and to live deliberately into his nomadic, off-the-grid existence. 

It’s an outlandish proposition at first. But Sundeen takes the reader through Suelo’s evolving philosophy that develops over the course of his eventful life as he struggles to find fulfillment, authenticity, and to reconcile what we profess to value with our actions.  Suelo’s story is as much more of spiritual quest than economic theory.  He travels to Latin America with the Peace Corps, to Tibet to study with the monks, to Alaska to experience the wilderness, and finally he returns to deserts of Utah where he embraces a life without money. The principle he follows is not complicated: To give without expectation, and receive with obligation.  His philosophy may be simple and it may even be radical, but it certainly not outlandish.

This is a book doesn’t end with the checkout period.  It’s so genuinely thought-provoking and engaging and Suelo so sincere and charismatic, the story pulls the reader into an ongoing conversation and inspires an enduring ethic of self-reflection.  And in a more practical sense, Daniel Suelo continues his own story.  Not at all a hermit, Suelo blogs from public libraries and has just formed a small tribe of moneyless wanderers.  

Recommended by Christine Wells, Cataloger at NoveList.